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2003 .

(1 publication)

A. Mathieu, G. Sèze, A. Lahellec, C. Guerin, and A. Weill. Characterization of the Cloud-Topped Boundary Layer at the Synoptic Scale Using AVHRR Observations during the SEMAPHORE Experiment. Journal of Applied Meteorology, 42:1720-1730, December 2003. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

Satellite platforms NOAA-11 and -12 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data are used during the daytime to study large sheets of stratocumulus over the North Atlantic Ocean. The application concerns an anticyclonic period of the Structure des Echanges Mer Atmosphère, Propriétés des Hétérogénéités Océaniques: Recherché Expérimentale (SEMAPHORE) campaign (10 17 November 1993). In the region of interest, the satellite images are recorded under large solar zenith angles. Extending the SEMAPHORE area, a region of about 3000 × 3000 km2 is studied to characterize the atmospheric boundary layer. A statistical cloud classification method is applied to discriminate for low-level and optically thick clouds. For AVHRR pixels covered with thick clouds, brightness temperatures are used to evaluate the boundary layer cloud-top temperature (CTT). The objective is to obtain accurate CTT maps for evaluation of a global model. In this application, the full-resolution fields are reduced to match model grid size. An estimate of overall temperature uncertainty associated with each grid point is also derived, which incorporates subgrid variability of the fields and quality of the temperature retrieval. Results are compared with the SEMAPHORE campaign measurements. A comparison with DX products obtained with the same dataset, but at lower resolution, is also presented. The authors claim that such instantaneous CTT maps could be as intensively used as classical SST maps, and both could be efficiently complemented with gridpoint error-bar maps. They may be used for multiple applications: (i) to provide a means to improve numerical weather prediction and climatological reanalyses, (ii) to represent a boundary layer global characterization to analyze the synoptic situation of field experiments, and (iii) to allow validation and to test development of large-scale and mesoscale models.

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